MH17 crash hearing postponed until November 3

Court hearings in the case of the MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine have been postponed to November 3, presiding judge Hendrik Steenhays said at a hearing on Monday.

Hearings on the MH17 crash resumed on 28 September at the Schiphol Protected Complex in the Netherlands.

“The hearings are being postponed, this concerns the consideration of cases against all four suspects. The next hearings will take place on Tuesday, November 3, at 10:00”, – the judge said.

The trial for the crash of flight MH17 began in the Netherlands on March 9, 2020. Four defendants pass along it – Russians Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko. Pulatov is represented at the trial by an international group consisting of two Dutch and one Russian lawyers. The rest of the suspects are being tried in absentia.

A Malaysian Boeing flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on flight MH17 crashed on July 17, 2014 near Donetsk. Onboard there were 298 people, all of them died. Kiev blamed the militia for the crash; they said they did not have the means to shoot down an aircraft at such a height. The Joint Investigation Group (JIT), which under the leadership of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Netherlands, without the participation of Russia, is investigating the circumstances of the crash, has previously presented interim results. The investigation claims that Boeing was shot down from a Buk anti-aircraft missile system belonging to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the RF Armed Forces from Kursk.

As Russian Deputy Prosecutor General Nikolai Vinnichenko told RIA Novosti, the Russian side transferred to the Netherlands not only the data of Russian radars, but also documentation proving that the Buk missile system that hit Boeing belonged to Ukraine, and it was launched from the territory controlled by Kiev, but this the information was ignored by the investigators. At the same time, on the first day of the court session, the prosecution admitted that it had received and is studying the data of the Russian prosecutor’s office.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the JIT’s accusations of Russia’s involvement in the crash of the Malaysian Boeing are unfounded and regrettable, the investigation is biased and one-sided. President Vladimir Putin noted that Russia is not allowed to investigate the plane crash in eastern Ukraine, and Moscow can recognize the results of the investigation if it takes full participation in it. All of the missiles, the engine of which was demonstrated by the Dutch commission to investigate the crash of MH17, were disposed of after 2011, the Russian Defense Ministry said. Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov has repeatedly stated that Moscow categorically rejects accusations of involvement in the crash of the Malaysian Boeing.